Lincolnshire Co-op has announced a 5.4% rise to £329m in annual sales at its food stores, driven by significant growth in the sale of its local range.

In the 2017/18 financial year, sales of the society’s Love Local range rose by 45%, while group trading surplus increased by 10.2% to £17.7m.

Sales of local goods sourced from producers across Lincolnshire Co-op’s trading area hit a record high of £3.2m. Over 40 firms supply Lincolnshire Co-op’s food stores with 189 different products including cheese made near Skegness, Grimsby smoked haddock, sausages sourced from Boston, and beer brewed in Fiskerton.

During the year the society opened two new food stores in Morton and Swineshead, as well as a revamped filling station and food store near Coningsby.

Lincolnshire Co-op chief executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “We’re delighted with our strong trading performance this year, particularly in the current tough retail climate. It’s not just about the figures, though. I’m proud of all the ways we make an impact in our community.

“Boosting the local economy by using firms from our area to build our outlets. Giving smaller producers a route to a wider customer base through our successful Love Local range. It all makes a difference.

“I’m thankful to colleagues, members, volunteers and everyone we work with, for coming together to achieve what we have this year.”